Morrisons, Britain’s fourth largest supermarket, is playing hero and attempting to diffuse the growing row with dairy farmers about the price of milk. To raise awareness farmers recently resorted to leading cows into stores as well as buying cartons and cartons of milk and distributing it for free or for charity money; Morrisons is responding with the launch of a new milk brand in its stores, pledging 10p of the retail price to go directly to farmers.
The move follows nationwide protests by dairy and livestock farmers who are supposedly facing “financial devastation” due to the falling prices of lamb and milk.
Milk For Farmers will sit alongside Morrisons’ own-brand milk, and is aimed for the consumer who want to support dairy farmers directly.
The decision has been “well received” by farmers’ unions, said Morrisons Director Martyn Jones, adding that “We recognise that the current market for liquid milk is impacting on hardworking dairy farmers and their families. We want to help.”
The big four grocer has also instructed its milk suppliers not to pass on any further decreases in farm-gate prices, but to share the benefits with farmers instead.
The National Farmers Union is calling on all major retailers to be “clear and transparent” in milk prices, making it clear for customers how much money goes back to the farmers.
According to Sky News, the price for four pints of semi-skimmed milk is 89p across Asda, Morrisons, Aldi and Iceland stores, and – jumping to £1 at Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.
While some supermarkets are paying 30p to 33p per litre for milk, there are those, such as Asda, paying just 23p per litre.
Farmers say they need to be paid at least 30p a litre for milk to cover their costs – but were paid just 23.66p for a litre of milk in June, according to AHDB Dairy.